RANTES production by T cells and CD8-mediated inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus gene expression before initiation of potent antiretroviral therapy predict sustained suppression of viral replication.J Infect Dis 2000; 181(2):505-12JI
A prospective blinded study was conducted to determine whether immunological differences exist between patients receiving potent antiretroviral therapy who are able to achieve and maintain an undetectable virus load (<50 copies/mL) and those who are not. Eleven patients receiving protease inhibitor-containing antiretroviral therapy were studied for 1 year. After analysis of all baseline samples, patient virus load was disclosed, and patients were classified as suppressors (those who maintained undetectable virus load for 1 year) and nonsuppressors. Baseline virus load and CD4+ T cell count did not differ significantly between the 2 groups. Levels of RANTES production by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and CD8-mediated inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 gene expression before initiation of antiretroviral therapy were significantly associated with an undetectable virus load maintained for 1 year (P<.05). Thus, a functionally intact T cell-mediated immune system at the time of initiation of potent antiretroviral therapy may predict long-term virus suppression.